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Book Review: A**-hole-ol-o-gy: The Cheat Sheet by Chris Illuminati

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Although I have been called many things over the years, the word “a**hole” seems to crop up the most. So when I came across a book titled A**hole-ol-o-gy: The Cheat Sheet, I was curious. What could this guy possibly know that I don’t already? I also wondered if there might be some tips in it that I may have somehow overlooked.

What I found was a wealth of funny material, delivered in a practically Biblical manner. The Introduction features “The Ten Demandments” of a true a**hole. These include such gems as: “The a**hole cares about the a**hole the most,” and “The a**hole is always right.”

Words to live by, without a doubt. Actually, beneath all of the bravado and humor, there is an underlying point. Author Chris Illuminati (nice name), is pointing out that nice guys really do finish last. Political correctness aside, nobody respects a wimp. Illuminati is not going to lead you to this conclusion easily though. Essays such as “Borrow A Friend’s Car, Then Sell It,” or “Take Your Dad To A Strip-Club To Blackmail Him,” are not your usual self-help topics, after all.

There are moments when Mr. Illuminati gets it completely right however. The nine individual chapters are broken down into smaller sections that present: “The Problem,” “The ’Hole Truth,” (offering solutions), and “Don’t Be A Douche,” (drawing the line between being a man, and being an idiot).

My favorite came in the chapter titled “How To Deal With Friends.” The essay is “How To Handle A Loud Cell Phone Talker.” It is a situation we have all been faced with at one time or another. How do you tell Joe or Jane Jerk to shut the f*** up when they are being so obnoxious with their phone? You want to say something, in fact you want to call this person out for being so damned rude, but you keep quiet and follow the rules of polite society. Are the details of your upcoming grocery store trip really that important to the rest of us? I think not. A**hole-ol-o-gy offers some excellent recommendations on how to put these evolutionary deficients in their places.

This type of (somewhat) practical advice is balanced out by hilarious essays such as: “You Got Caught Masturbating, What Now?,” “Your Friend Brought A Girl To A Guy‘s Night Out” or “Visit The Office Fridge For Free Food.”

The main point the author is hitting is very simple: BE the alpha-male at all times. In that respect, items such as “Dealing With Customer Service,” or “Keeping The Repairman From Screwing You Over” become words of wisdom.

Act like an a**hole first, and ask questions later seems to be the motto. Or as the back-cover blurb proudly asks: “What would an a**hole do?” The mock-religious tones make the whole thing even more comical. But as the great bard Homer Simpson once put it, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

My recommendation is that A**-hole-ol-o-gy: The Cheat Sheet would make the perfect Father’s Day gift. That is unless he (like me) has already written his own version of the book. Then just give it to him for laughs.

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About Greg Barbrick